Is this Chlorosis?

katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)May 12, 2009

A couple of pictures of two roses in the back bed. Last year these were small but very happy, healthy green and bloomy. They were actually greener a few weeks ago then they are now. I've noticed especially in the past two weeks that the leaves on most of one one plant and part of another (they're the same and unnamed) have suddenly turned a rather icky yellowish color. I've never seen this on my roses before. I know what over watering looks like out there and this isn't it. I would greatly appreciate any thoughts on the matter. Thank you.

By the by both of these guys have and have had RMV forever. I trim off the really affected parts and they normally shine on despite that fact.

Kate

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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Hi, Kate.

Is the red leaf margin normal on this variety?

Technically, "chlorosis" just means "yellowing," so, yes, they definitely have chlorosis :)

Yellowing between greener veins starting on the new growth is iron deficiency. I presume the leaves did not suddenly turn pale but grew out pale over the past two weeks. The newest leaves are normally the most chlorotic. In picture #2 it looks like one cane has yellow foliage and another does not. In this case the cane might be damaged.

There is iron in the soil but it is unavailable because of high pH, or possibly just because the soil is cold and wet. Check pH, add sulfur if needed, and use an iron product for a short-term fix.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:18PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Hi Michael.

Yes, the leaves on these roses do have that red margin. I'm sorry I should have noted it.

Gotcha on the terminology. I learned something:)

You are most correct about how the leaves turned slowly. It took me a little to notice in fact. I'll look for damage on the canes as well and if necessary do some trimming.

So checking the pH. I have not done this before but presume I can maybe get some kind of testing tool at the hardware store. Not 100% certain what the pH should be in fact. I need to do more investigating apparently.

Thank you so much for your input. Very appreciated.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:29PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

I'd start with looking for cane damage. The second one in particular looks like classic winter damage near the base of the cane.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:31PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Since Kate knows how to prune, I wouldn't think the whole plant in picture 1 is sitting on damaged stubs, but perhaps the one cane in picture 2 is. It seems to have blind growth, which is another indicator.

I use the inexpensive Rapi-Test meter to check pH, but if you don't have a way, you could just slop some iron on the first plant. If the problem recurs, treat the soil with sulfur, which will slowly lower the pH.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:55PM
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jerijen(Zone 10)

In the long run, for us, treating the soil with sulfur has been the most durable solution to this problem.

Jeri

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 2:56PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Thank you all very much. When I get home I will look more carefully at both plants for physical damage to the canes.

Living up here in a rather small town our little hardware store has finite supplies of, well, everything. So my second task will be to check with them and see if they have iron, sulfur or the pH tester available and go from there.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 3:37PM
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henryinct

Definitely look at the canes first because it appears that there is very healthy foliage and distressed foliage on the same plant but on different canes. The weak cane is probably damaged but there could be damage at the graft assuming it is a grafted rose. You might also look at the healthy cane for symptoms like yellowing which would indicate that the weaker cane may be dying from something that will eventually get the stronger cane in which case there is another problem probably at the root level.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 4:41PM
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katefisher(Z7_NorthernCA)

Thanks Henry.

Well miraculously when I called my hardware store they had precisely one pH tester in stock and Michael it is the Rapi-Test so I'm going to get that this evening. That will be nice to have around I'm sure and as you and Jeri pointed out it will help identify the issue. I'll let you know what I discover.

Kate

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 4:44PM
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